Parcel Prioritization for Drinking Water Protection in the Upper Neuse River Basin, North Carolina
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The Upper Neuse River Basin spans six counties in the Piedmont region of North Carolina and is the drinking water source for over half a million people. This water resource needs to be protected so that it can meet the growing demand spurred by rapid population growth. Land conservation is one method for drinking water protection. The Upper Neuse Clean Water Initiative (UNCWI) has successfully prioritized parcels for conservation and suggested potential funding sources. However, they did not consider nonpoint source pollutant loads based on parcel landcover and the distance from the parcel to the surface water intakes or costs of acquiring parcels. The objective of this project is to further prioritize the UNCWI high-priorty parcels using a parcel-pollutantweighting model that considers budget constraints. There are four different scenarios of the model run based on area of the watershed and future land use scenarios. The second objective is to provide the model and results to local conservation organizations and county governments. A user-friendly Excel version of the model will be developed so that land conservationists can input their own variables for parcel prioritization to protect water quality.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
SubjectUpper Neuse River Basin
Upper Neuse Clean Water Initiative (UNCWI)
Nonpoint source pollution
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